Point guard controversy? Dwane Casey says there isn’t one and of course he’s right. Controversy usually implies that there is a contentious, usually riddled with some emotion, subject to have a controversy over. The point guard tandem we have evokes no emotions in either direction because both options are mediocre at best. If you do perchance to debate, consider some points. Before I present them, let me say that this so-called debate doesn’t hold great interest to me since the foregone conclusion is that they’ll both play equal minutes. This will be justified by citing the importance of some blend of youth and experience which every fan (including me) just accepts blindly.

The first side of the story is that Calderon is 30 years old, and Bayless is 23. And to be honest, that alone settles the debate right there, regardless of what Calderon’s history and experience might be. A 30-year old point guard starting ahead of a 23-year old one doesn’t add up to a rebuilding year. The only time such a decision makes sense is in the case of rookies, and maybe second year players. Take Jrue Holiday for example – he started 51 games his first season as he was easing into the PG role. His second season he started all 82. Case closed, there’s your point guard.

Bayless is entering his fourth season and has started at most 14 games a season, and that was his last with all 14 coming in a Raptors uniform. It would be unjustifiable to say that the Raptors are giving Bayless his “chance” by bringing him off the bench. Before you give me the “it doesn’t matter who starts, but who finishes” BS and how they’ll approximately play the same amount of minutes, consider that what giving somebody their “chance” means. A chance means a legitimate shot at running the team and making the position his own. A chance equates to getting the car keys and being asked to race, not sit in the back seat and only drive when the roads are dry. The amount of chances the Raptors have given Calderon to own that position are countless, and yet here we are six years later and he still hasn’t established himself as #1.

I’d even contend that there hasn’t been a single season in six years where there hasn’t been debate around the point guard spot. Either it’s T.J Ford, Jarrett Jack, Jerryd Bayless, there were even calls for Roko Ukic to get starting! The fact, and it is a fact not any sort of conjecture or inference, that Calderon hasn’t been able to establish himself as a consensus #1 option at PG, means that he should be evicted and officially marked with the Darrick Martin stamp. It’s time to turn a new page, and it doesn’t matter if Bayless is one of those pages that you spilled coffee on and is all sticky and disgusting, it’s a change!

The leadership Calderon brings? Puh-lease. This team has been lacking leadership for years and that’s a well-known fact, no able-minded person can honestly believe that having Calderon (or for that matter, any Raptors player thus far) and not having him on the court, or even in the lockerroom for that matter, is having any impact on the overall sense of leadership. Experience? Exactly what experience are we referring to? NBA championships? Deep playoff runs? Any playoff experience? There’s nothing here to mine. Technically speaking, Mike Bibby would bring better experience than Calderon.

I’m not saying Bayless is a better player than Calderon, he’s clearly not, what I’m getting at is that if there’s been a time and a chance for the Raptors to find out the potential of player they have in Bayless, it’s now! They say by the third season you get an idea of what a player is all about, we’ll afford Bayless an extension on account of his playing time over the years, but it’s only a single year’s extension. At the end of the season the Raptors have to decide whether to pick up his qualifying offer, and you don’t want to do that on partial information.

If you’re still with me, then you think I hate Calderon. I don’t. Here’s his side of the story: loyal solider who has remained truly professional throughout his career, and has taken an excessive and undue amount of criticism because of his defense, of lack thereof. I am shocked that he’s still on the roster because at this stage in his career, I can think of at least four other teams he can greatly help: Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, and Miami. I’m sure I’m missing a few. For his sake, he needs to play in a winning environment and the Raptors franchise owes it to him to trade him to a team where he can finally be recognized for the floor general he is (and I don’t mean Charlotte, that would’ve been a kick in the teeth).

In his six seasons with the Raptors, Calderon has been on one winning team, and during this period the Raptors have a winning percentage of .423! The guy does not even know what winning means, what can we possibly expect from him at this point in his career? I remember when Mitchell got fired and Kenny Smith dissed Jose. I remember it clearly because I felt sorry for him, and I knew Calderon did not deserve it. He was being pushed into a role which he never was truly comfortable with, and the criticism came not because he wasn’t a good point guard, but because the Raptors had set extremely unfair expectations of him based on half a season. Juggling him between starting and bench duties have completely thrown off his career, to the point where he’s lost his identity. We’ve called on him to be more aggressive on the break, shoot the ball more, improve his range, hold his own on defense, become a drive-and-kick PG, all without realizing that with every ask, we’re moving him away from his comfort zone and natural ability.

I was hoping for a trade to the Lakers when they instead signed Steve Blake. He would’ve been a perfect in LA with Gasol, and it’s unfortunate that he remains on a project which has passed him by. Calderon will probably get his minutes again and play well in stretches, and make us appreciate whatever he does. The larger question, though, is whether he imparts any knowledge that is considered valuable? There’s no doubt we might win more games with him than without him, but that is not the metric of success this season.

So the argument boils down to these question which systematically answer the question of who, not just starts, but plays 38 minutes a night:

  • Do we care about racking up wins? No.
  • Is Calderon a core part of the DeRozan-Davis-Jonas nucleus to follow? No.
  • Have the Raptors evaluated Bayless? No.
  • Do the Raptors need to make a decision on Bayless soon? Yes.
  • Do we care of Calderon runs a better pick ‘n roll with Ed Davis than Jerryd Bayless? No.
  • Do the Raptors need Calderon’s services with Carter around? No.
  • Does Calderon bring a unique tangible such as leadership or toughness? No.
  • Do we want Calderon to be happy and play for a winning team? Yes.
  • ……you fill in the rest.

  • Akash_singh

    you are dead wrong here arse, dead wrong.

    • blaze89

      there is no way on this planet that arse is dead wrong on this one, the last six years have proven just that, he is simply at a point in his career that his certain skill sets would be better suited for another team that is further down the road than ours is right now. i like calderon but its time to see what the future holds for us and with anthony carter in town we have the experience and toughness aspect covered.

      • Akash_singh

        imo bayless already has a defined role as a jarrett jack or a nate robinson or a barbosa (not as good as barbosa though), a high energy player who can provide points off the bench with there explosiveness and aggressiveness, it’s very unlikely that he has adapted so much and learned how to run an offense, a completely different playing style for him.  The other players games just don’t develop in terms of the team game, unlike with jose….      

    • Nilanka15

      I completely agree with Arse’s reasoning. It’s not that I don’t like Calderon, or that I’m a fan of Bayless. It’s just that what makes the most sense for the Raptors organization, which was neatly summarized in bullet form above, is to give Bayless the starting gig from day 1, and see if he sinks or swims.

      I’ve heard the argument that starting Bayless would hinder the development of the younger guys. I don’t buy it. Yes Bayless isn’t the greatest of passers, but he’s not such a poor passer that he can’t get the proper guys the ball in set offensive plays.

      On the other hand, with Casey’s comments hinting that Calderon will start, it could be that he’s already confirmed that Bayless doesn’t have starting PG capabilities, and intends to use him as a primary scoring option off the bench (a la Jason Terry).

  • Superraptor

    I agree that the raptors should start Bayless, I think what they are trying to do by starting Calderon is increase his trade value, to try and trade him at the end of this year, or early next year.

    • Scottbbaird

      I like the idea, but teams have watched Jose for years as our point guard.  Do we really need to showcase him, and is that more important than getting Bayless good minutes against other team’s starters?

  • SaskatchewanSun

    Great points! I really like Jose and I believe we would win more games with him as starting PG this season. I think you are correct though, the time is now to fully evaluate Bayless. We should flip Jose for whatever young talent we can get

  • Truthkiller

    I’ve been saying this for such a long time and finally someone sane agrees with me, Bayless deserves a shot and should start. I’m not sure of the exact stats but I remember when he starts he averages 20+ ppg, 5+ assists. That’s better than half the PG in the league, plus it’s not like Bayless thinks he’s the best player on the team      ala Russel WestBrick, so what the hell are the Raptors waiting for.

    • Scottbbaird

      Haha westbrick. nice.

    • sek99

      Side tangent: People don’t remember the 2010 playoffs when Durant was nowhere to be seen and Westbrook made a series with the Lakers almost single handedly. He’s still top 10, maybe even top 5 pg in the league. 

  • Flyfresh416

    you also can’t read into too much of what the media writes as facts, when they’re not in the locker room with these guys.  It’s all speculation that we give legs to.  Let them train in peace.

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    Arsenalist  “core Derozan-Davis-Jonas” . You are a delusional person. Stick to reality AB is one of the pieces of the core despite your futur-ability. Arsene Wenger 2.0 – Zero as wins but he can talk. Oh yes he can talk.

    • What the

      things look so much better when you leave out #7 name

                              CULTURE CHANGE!!!!

  • Raptor4Ever

    1) Who is a better PG between the Two? Calderon
    2) Who can make the game much easier for guys like Amir, Davis and even in future for Val with his passing abilities and … ? Calderon
    3) Is he a Key part of future Core ” DD, Davis, AB and Val” ? Not as a starter but could be great having him on the bench.

    ALL THAT BEING SAID, What are some of the most Important Questions that Raptors Need to Address this season?

    Is Bayless an Starting PG Caliber in this League ?
    Can he be a part of the Core future ?

    Bayless is up for extension and the sooner we find this out, the better it is.

    • sleepz

      I agree and think the purpose of running the offence and getting good shots for Derozan, Davis and Bargnani this year, is why Casey is going to start him and rightfully so.

      Bayless is not a true point and his court vision is blurred by his scoring mentality.

      He hasn’t shown he can run an office and maybe he does need an opportunity to be evaluated properly, but I think it will be at the detriment of the development of the other young players, to start Bayless.

  • carlos

    wasabi

  • Matt52

    The only possible excuse to start Calderon would be an attempt to raise his trade value.  The risk is he lowers it – if that is possible.  For those who cite his contract as a reason he is unable to be moved for a decent return, moving him to the bench will only lower it further.  Few teams, if any, are going to spend $10.5M on him next year as a back up. 

    Personally, I’d start Bayless 10 out of 10 times.  If Calderon can’t be moved and $10M is needed to score a homerun in free agency this summer, use the amnesty.

  • Buschfire

    totally agree with this post…good break down. In the direction we are heading DeRozan, Davis & Jonas will be our core. The question is will Bayless be a part of that?

  • Noprops

    Start bayless bench Caldy

  • carlos

    wasabi

  • sek99

    Calderon is in the same place as Bargnani to me; they have both had many opportunities in several different circumstances (position, coach, team dynamic etc) and they’ve never given us more than a first round exit. That all, remember, with all-star pf Chris Bosh. I totally with this article. Calderon should have been out of here a long time ago. That’s not to say I don’t like him – I do – but really only for his enthusiasm. I find his abilities overrated by nearly everyone, and even if you disagree we can all say that without a doubt he’s not ‘special’. He’s a good backup, decent to pretty good starter when healthy, but he doesn’t belong on this team anymore in its new direction. I wish him all the best and hope Colangelo can find a nice fit for him and finally start over completely, with Bargnani the next to go if he doesn’t seriously deliver this year.

    • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

      all-star pf Chris Bosh.!!!!hahaha no1,no2,no3,no4,no5. D12 near AB7 than you talk .

      • Nilanka15

        What do numbers 1-5 mean?

      • sek99

        Not sure what your comment means pal. But Bosh was an all-star, that’s just a fact. I don’t like him either, and I don’t think he’s as good as we built him up to be or really anything special, but he’s still a very good pf, probably top 10 in the league. If Bargnani and Calderon are as good as some revere them to be, than that squad should have been much better and never missed the playoffs, which happened often. And in reference to your name, when AB dropped 38 on Bosh, did we win that game or lose? Case and point.

  • Carl

    Bayless is not good enough to be our starting ph, we need to get that in trade/draft/free agency. Bayless is a good backup though and I hope we have him there in the future. No point in getting his opinion of himself higher, let him embrace his backup skills.

  • guest

    One get paid about 10 mil the other gets paid about 3mil.  The 10 million dollar player will start to show he has value.  That is the only way you get a decent trade done!  

  • RapthoseLeafs

    .
    Bayless may be the Guard who survives, but to eliminate the option of Jose as part of a future Raptor ensemble – would be shortsighted, IMO. Just because the odds may not be for Calderon, one can’t forget Plan B.

    Who survives could depend on what transpires not only this year, but next year – at draft time. If both Jose & Jarryd are here at Draft 2012, and a PG is the best player available, or it’s a subjective call between a PF, Centre or PG, Jose’s continued presence could turn out to be valuable.
    .
    If a PG draft pick is viewed as having more upside, or we can trade for an up and coming Guard, then having Jose on board allows Raptors to continue development in other areas, while the new future PG learns.
    .
    As well, this season is not just about the PG “training” and “experience” – aka Bayless training, but also about Ed Davis, Demar, Amir, and yes Bargnani …. training.

    Demar needs to improve his 3 point shooting. To do that, he needs better opportunities, and sufficient time. Set-up is important.

    For Davis alone, raising his offensive level is important to our expected development.

    Amir solidifying last year’s improvements, but with a healed ankle, is one more goal. He worked well with Jose.

    And while the hope is that Andrea will improve his rebounding and defense, his shooting efficiency will be important to a “revitalized” effort. It will be an efficiency that depends on a more inside game.

    Whether all this is provided by Jose or Jarryd, should really depend on who provides the best opportunity for growth – in other areas not called PG.
    .

    Of course, If Jarryd shows a jump beyond what some might have expected, then that option is there for him to start – permanently. Demonstrating this will mean Jarryd must not only show greater success by the end of the season, but also strong Jose numbers through many games.

    As for how they manage minutes, I believe Jose should retain control – for now. With all the double night games, a few triple nights, and such a compressed schedule, Casey will/should give Bayless opportunities to start, and/or get significant minutes. 
    .
    .
    [“Do we care about racking up wins? No.”]

    Yes and No. “Over-losing” hurts rookies, deters potential Free Agents, and as we know …. watches dream chasers, chase somewhere else.
    .

    [” Is Calderon a core part of the DeRozan-Davis-Jonas nucleus to follow? No. “]

    As Raptor4Ever said:

    “Not as a starter but could be great having him on the bench.” That pretty much sums up my view.
    .

    [” Have the Raptors evaluated Bayless? No. “]

    I agree – No. As this year needs to explore, it will be whether the Jarryd option prevails.

    .

    [” Do the Raptors need to make a decision on Bayless soon? Yes. “]

    I disagree. Unless Jose becomes part of a trade that BENEFITS the Toronto Raptors (remember salary coming back), neither decisions have to be made until the season ends, or nearly ends.  IMO, the choice really doesn’t have to be made until draft day (or thereabouts).

    .
    [” Do we care of Calderon runs a better pick ‘n roll with Ed Davis than Jerryd
    Bayless? No. “]

    Yes we do. Ed’s development supersedes Bayless’ development. If Davis is going to the next level, it will mean more to the Raptors as part of the team, or as a valuable trade part.
    .

    [” Do the Raptors need Calderon’s services with Carter around? No. “]

    Carter represents that fringe option – he might make better sense as time passes, and he might not – the odds suggest the latter.  
    .

    [” Does Calderon bring a unique tangible such as leadership or toughness? No. “]

    Being a veteran is an acquired taste. We may have brought aboard a nice level of veteran leaders to this team, but how many will be here next season?   As a leader of the Secondary, Jose is my idea of a perfect back-up PG. With injury scenarios always part of the game, Calderon has the ability to jump right back into the mix, provide solid minutes, then jump right back to a back-up role. And his new contract would reflect that.

    .

    [” Do we want Calderon to be happy and play for a winning team? Yes. “]

    Yes. If that opportunity came about, and Jose was on board, I would definitely be in favour of that.
    .

    [” ……you fill in the rest. “]

    Jarryd Bayless may be our future PG. Or he may not. I think it’s too early to pin the tail on this donkey yet.

    .

    ll  –

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    Bayless sucks, period.  I don’t need any more time to evaluate him, he is a selfish shoot-first PG, just like Ford.

    Having said that, I would still be inclined to play him significant minutes, to showcase him as a primary asset for the trade deadline, along with Barbosa.

    • Cjthompson2

      Something I have never understood is the image of a greedy shoot first point guard being a bad thing.  I happen to like pass first point guards, but whenever there is a draft or a trade opportunity Raptor’s Republic goes berzerk for a shoot first guy like Kemba Walker.  Why is Derrick Rose so popular.  He is the very definition of a shoot first point guard and everyone loves him.

      Also while I actually agree with many of Arse’s points in this post (which in itself is odd) I think some of the arguments are very flawed.  To say that Jose has no history of success is completely wrong.  The Spanish National team is first or second in the world every year.  He has won plenty as their STARTING point guard.  I do agree that it is time to evaluate Bayless to see what he has and what he can be.  But SF is much more pressing need for this team going forward.

      • Brian B

        “Everybody” loves Derrick Rose because he is a scoring machine, a great athlete. And yet, his critics say he needs to distribute better – though that means better shooters around him (*cough* Rip *cough*). Rose scores 20 points per 36, Bayless 15.7. When Bayless drives, and has no route to the basket, he doesn’t know what to do.

  • Brian B

    First, there is no need for EITHER PG to pay 38 minutes – in fact, doing so would be plain dumb. Jerry West’s career average was 39 minutes a game, and neither of these guys is Jerry West. Last season, less than 20 players played over 37 minutes.  Bayless is an “energy player” and that means his minutes need to be regulated. He is also a driving 2 guard in a PG body – a miniature DD if you’d like.

    JC is a great pure point guard on offense, limited by his waning athleticism. Can Casey make him Jason Kidd lite? Trhe answer to that should determine match ups and roles.

    I’ve commented many times that I think Bayless is what he is. My view is cemented by the Blazer’s Truehoop blogger who cites Bayless as an example of wishful thinking where fans allowed their emotions to make believe that a player was better than he is. And if he was a real prospect, would NO have dumped him? IMHO, he is what he is – a role player.

    I agree with the comments that JC would better aid the development of the young gunz. Not that I’m sold on them either. I’d like some of whatever the guys who think AB is part of the “CORE” are smoking. He has no fit here. Talented but limited player, needs to be traded to a place where he can be a second or third option, or the “third big in rotation”. Where someone else brings the toughness. I’ve commented before that I thought BC ought to have packaged JC & AB for one legitimate player and a draft pick or real prospect. Also not convinced on Davis- he needs to show a LOT more toughness, defence. For this HE needs minutes. And JC will set a better tempo, and distribute the rock better.

    But then, heck, I’m not sold on DD either – his only proven talent at this point is getting to the  rim to score or draw a foul. No D. no mid range or 3P shooting – in fact, he’s dreadful at 3P shooting. Poor handle. Decent player, but not the centerpiece he’s forced to imitate on this dreadful team.

    So, IMHO, it doesn’t matter which PG starts this year. JC should play enough that Bayless stays fresh, and JC should be in the game when Davis is, and probably when DD is as well- that latter point suggesting that JC start, except DD needs to play 36 MPG. AND shoot 300 3P in practice each day til he can make 100 in a row.

    By the time the Raptors get good – if ever- they should have a new and better PG – one with true PG skill to distribute, but the athleticism to defend his peers.

    • Nilanka15

      DD doesn’t have mid range? I remember a very reliable mid range jumper from DeRozan last year.

      • Brian B

        Well, statistically he was about average, but he never looked comfortable (or reliable) to me – his comfort move is going to the rim. And he’s historically bad at 3P shooting. He is a life long forward trying to play shooting guard. Without 3P shooting, he’s just another impressive athlete without a true position. A typical BC draft pick. Unless he makes strides this year, he’ll just be another interchangeable NBA talent over rated because of his showmanship.

    • guest

      “my view is cemented by a blogger”..lol  I am going with some of the interviews from the new coach.

  • rob

    This is a toughy, Calderon has been the most mature and faithful toronto raptor on the team since BC rolled in, and I think the only one still here since then 😛

    Same way I hated to let go Anthony Parker, this is going to hurt too ):

  • Theswirsky

    wow alot of the weight for the Raps last 6 years being thrown on Jose’s shoulders here, atleast in terms of his leadership and experience, no?

  • p00ka

    If the ONLY concern is seeing if Bayless can be turned into a starter, then a great article. Thing is, there’s a ton of other factors that need attention in the development of this team. Some are touched on by your points:

    “Do we care about racking up wins? No”
    You lose me right there. I could write an essay about how short-sighted that is, but I’ll spare us all. You may not care, but the players and coaches don’t want an inkling of that mentality around the team.

    “Have the Raptors evaluated Bayless? No.”
    They’re evaluating him all the time, and I would guess the coaches are a little better equipped to not only evaluate his skills, but how they fit with what they’re trying to do.

    “Do we care of Calderon runs a better pick ‘n roll with Ed Davis than Jerryd Bayless? No.”

    The pick ‘n roll is an integral part of every team’s offense, but we don’t care to have ED develop his second year skills with a PG that runs it better? Huh? For that matter, extend that to caring about having a PG that runs an offense far more suitably for the development of all of them. But you suggest the team shouldn’t care about that because giving Bayless a bigger chance to show what he hasn’t yet to 3 teams is more important?

    “Does Calderon bring a unique tangible such as leadership or toughness? No.”
    I don’t know what inside knowledge you have about his leadership behind the scenes, but I’ve always seen great appreciation for him from his teammates. Ever ask any of them about his leadership? As far as on the floor, there’s different kinds of leadership, and being an excellent floor general and keeping all your teammates involved is a huge kind. Something 19 yr old Kabonga shows more of in his first year of NCAA than Bayless has ever shown.

    I really, really hope Bayless turns out to be a big part of a winning combination, but unless he has shown much more in camp than what he showed last year, it’s much too soon to throw him the keys to the car and discard Jose in favour of Carter.

    I know it’s all opinions, but I for one am sure glad you’re not involved in running the team.

    • OneLuv

      Thank you p00kaou for bringing some semblance of common sense to this debate. Jose must have kicked Arsenalist’s puppy.

  • KuH

    “Does it matter that Calderon is a better passer (better on the pick and role)?”

    Actually, I believe yes, it does matter.  It’s much easier for them to learn, and to build their confidence, when they are given the ball in the right place and given easy baskets (case in point: JV in Lithuania with national team vs. his club team).  For the next couple of years, as the Raptors are refining their offense – especially since the focus is on defense – make it easy for them to score.  Then, as we get more refined offensive players who can manufacture their own baskets (except AB of course, who does this already), swap the experienced PG out for a talented youngster, as the Celtics did with Rondo.

    I actually like starting Calderon from a long-term planning point of view.

    Now, if Bayless were a better passer, or were even a pass-first PG, I might reconsider.  He isn’t.

  • Balls of Steel

    This is pretty simple in my opinion. Calderon has the edge at PG since he is older and have played more (here and internationally). The reality is that they’re going to keep Bayless to come off the bench so that he comes very cheap come extension time. Bayless’ ceiling is much higher than Calderon’s ever will.

    • OneLuv

      Want to bet? I bet Bayless is out of the league before Calderon (barring injury). I really hope Bayless works out, just as I hoped Roko Ukic would have but the fact is Bayless has proved nothing as yet. People who know more than me chose to keep Jose over TJ, Jose over Jarret Jack, Jose over Ricky Rubio (as a starter for Spain). There must be something there beside the fact that Jose is the “highest paid Raptor” as someone above said.

      • guest

        You conveniently forget,tThey have tried to trade Jose but Michael Jordan said no thanks in the end.

  • 511

    In spite of nodding along with a comment the other day by damkule that pointed out how Bayless faired better as a starter (I forget the stats mentioned but that was the jist), this didn’t have me at all until the sixth paragraph, where you mention giving Bayless a single year’s extension. Having watched the videos that feature the new assistant coaches who are working with Bayless and the video of Bayless himself talking about the issue of starting/not starting (saying that it’s not an issue), I’ve taken to thinking that Bayless might only now be getting the kind of NBA-level point guard training that he’s probably always needed and that would likely take a bit of time to be absorbed … if that’s in fact what’s going on. 

    If Calderon was say, 33-35 yrs old instead of 30, I’d be more inclined to agree that Bayless should absolutely start now. With the extra-crammed schedule however, we’ll likely see Bayless get a solid share of starts anyway, as the season goes by. 

    With things as they are, I don’t mind Jose in the mostly-starting role for the moment (even if it was just for a month or two), letting Bayless soak up whatever refining bits there are that he might be able to take in before the roles switch, or Jose moves on and Bayless makes the team his own once and for all, if he actually has the chops to do so. If not and we draft/trade for a higher caliber point guard, Bayless might at least up his own value as a (more or less) permanent back-up pg, assuming the growth I’m expecting to see this year. The way I see it. 

    Also, the later paragraphs about Jose and just who he is as a player showed a very insightful understanding of his abilities and professionalism, I thought. I agreed with everything, there. 

    Can’t wait til Sunday. 

    • Nilanka15

      Tying into your first paragraph, I think people are over-valuing Calderon’s off-the-floor leadership qualities. The combination of Johnny Davis and Anthony Carter should be able to fill the void easily if Calderon is ever moved.

      • 511

        That’s likely true. Whether it’s just my own perception or not, once Jose was ‘traded’, whatever off-the-floor leadership qualities it was thought that he carried or once carried, they were diminished. At least, somewhat. He’s still a piece that I’d rather have than not at this moment, but … whenever they decide to move him if and when they do, the team will survive. 

    • AmirFan

      “In spite of nodding along with a comment the other day by damkule that pointed out how Bayless faired better as a starter”

      In a really bad team with bad players stat does not mean much. Lets face it, Casey saw exactly what the rest of us are saying about Bayless for over a year now. 

      He lacks the vision and does not see his teammates and for a team with players such as Amir and Davis who are not as offensively talented, this can prove to be disastrous. 

      To evaluate Bayless versus Calderon, you have to evaluate other players on the team and see which one of the two makes the other guys better and answer RIGHT NOW, is Calderon.

  • j bean

    Too many definitive judgments for a 23 year old that performed quite well as a starter last year albeit for only 14 games. This year we’ll find out if he can develop his vision and make those around him better. It is too early to say it’s an impossibility.

  • voy

    with all due respect, who starts game 1 of a season, where we are likely to win around 10-15 games, is not really important to anyone except for writers looking for things to write about.  Its not like Jose is going to get 80% of the playing time and Bayless will only hit the floor during garbage time.

    Bayless will get his shot at being the starting pg sooner rather than later for Toronto, for better or worse, this is almost a certainy.

    The above being said, its a pleasure to read the opinions of someone who actually watches basketball.  I listened to Bob McCowan and Damien Cox talk basketball, earlier this week, and I wanted to shoot myself in the face.

    • What the

      Leave Bob McCowan alone he’ll be the one who help us get rid of #7 just wait until the chit hits the FAN 2 rebounds a quater 10mil a year, 17 shots to get 20 points just wait until they start booing #7 at home games

    • Nilanka15

      Agreed on Bob McCown. He predicted the Raps would go 6-60 this year. Although it sounded like he was joking, I don’t think he was.

      • voy

        yeah, thats about the extent of his knowledge “the team is no good”.  Wow, thanks for the update, Bob.  Anyway, I expect he’ll mask his ignorance, this year on the nba, with blowhard bravado like he always does.

        And to listen to Damien Cox be involved in any discussion on basketball… you might as well ask him to explain string theory.

    • Bendit

      Oh please…turn the FAN off when anyone there is discussing basketball amongst themselves and I do mean ANYone…unless of course you want to lose any semblance of knowledge and opinion of the game and more so about the Raptors. 

  • Kuzzybear

    if he is traded,I hope that Calderon ends up on a team that makes a deep playoff run.
    The guy is a great teammate. Doesn’t talk stats, doesn’t talk numbers, always talking aboout the team. If any of you think running an offence and getting the ball to a teammate in the right moment is so easy, you haven’t a clue on how to play the game.
    Defensively, the talk on this site is how Jose can’t guard the elite point guards 1 on 1. hell, even the Roses and Wades can’t guard each other. At that level it truly becomes a team function to be effective.All 4 players off the ball have to adjust to where the ball is moving either by pass or dribble. Since the advent of the jump shot, the offensive player always has an advantage in 1 on 1 scenarios.

  • FAQ

    Just look at the Raptor roster and who tops the salary list … a Spaniard and an Italian … in the NBA no less.

    The roster is filled with retreads, rookies and rejects… plus a couple of soft Euros.

    CAN IT GET ANY WORSE FOR RATPOR FANS …??!!!

  • Malefax

    Absolutely! There is no way that in 2 years when Calderon is 32 and Toronto’s ‘building’ program is finished and we are in the playoffs that Calderon could possibly contribute anything. I mean, since when do playoff teams use 32 year old point guards? Please, that’s crazy. At the age of 32, Jose will probably be retired, right? Definitely not contributing to anybody, anywhere. That is why this article makes perfect sense and is totally not nonsense from beginning to end.

    • p00ka

      LOL, well played

    • guest

      I guess the mavericks using Jason Kidd at 37 years of age was a huge mistake!

  • Ska

    DeRozan-Davis-Jonas Core ?
    That’s exist in the mind, not on the court.
    DDand Davis have to show what they really can do not just moments of it

  • citiraptor

    Calderon may start but Bayless will get a lot of minutes.  By mid point their roles may reverse.  It is possible that at the trade deadline they may trade him, or wait until the draft has been completed.  They could amnesty him, but I would hate to see him go that way. 

  • Anton

    Completely disagree on this. Jose’s been great for us, the smartest player on the floor 99% of the time. His experience is from overseas, and it’s not his fault our teams sucked. He’s an outstanding half-court PG, and the last 6 years Colangelo had a shoot-first, ask questions later mentality (and Ford, Jack, and Bayless are better for pushing the ball instead of working through plays, thus the constant controversies). If Bayless can be as half as smart as Jose, I don’t mind taking him over Jose eventually… But Calderon is a savvy vet, and we can’t win with just youngsters. 

  • dribbles

    I like Jose but his contract is an issue. He’s not a guy who relies on his athleticism so I’m not worried about him hitting 30.

    When he’s hitting his jumper and looking for his shot, he is one of the better offensive PGs in the game. He still manages to keep other guys involved and he’s a steady hand. He has those occasional 15-20 type games and you wonder why he can’t do that more often. I hope he can find his jumper (consistently) again, and hopefully Casey can find a way to help/hide him on D. Otherwise, his contract stays a problem.

    Bayless has all kinds of talent/potential but I don’t feel comfortable watching him running the offense at all. I hope he can turn it around but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • Laven92

    Bayless should start because he’s a better defender then calderon and he thrived as a starter. Theirs is no chance calderon can hold is own against the nba elite starting PGs. He’s better as the backup PG playin with the other teams bench pgs. Bayless and calderon can work because they both bring different aspects to the game as PG’s

  • AmirFan

    Just finished watching Wolf and Bucks game, how fun are the wolf ? Rubio, Love, Williams, Beasly, Brea and … 

  • Dconnolly

    Bayless is not a starting point guard in the NBA… he’s a ball hog, can’t play 
    d, and doesn’t know know how to get his team involved. Calderon was good enough at D to win a gold medal, and he’s the best offensive PG in Raptors history. 

    • Sheptor

      Ummm…Damon Stoudamire

  • ad

    One of the worst things that happened to this franchise in recent yrs was calderon’s great streak 3 or 4 yrs ago when ford was injured. That pretty much over inflated his value to the team and now they’re basically paying an ok player $10M a season. Sad to say, I was pissed when Kenny Smith said that comment about calderon 3 yrs ago but he was right.

  • Rapsallday

    Here are the Core of the Raps moving forward…
    Bayless PG   -This season will determine if he should start. If not, very valuable off the bench as a scoring pg. This way he doesn’t have to be pressured into setiing up his teamates (Potential: Bench or possible starter)
    Derozan SG – solid player who could excell at both ends of the floor. Not necessarily an allstar but a level below. Can score 15 to 20pts a night consistantly (Pot:Starter possible allstar calibre)
    Johnson SF – Solid defensive player who if increases his ability to score from outside could be a real bargain. Also can be a great back up Sf (Think Corless Wlliamson)
    (Pot: Bench-6th man but could blossom to a average starter)
     
    Davis PF  –  Instant double double every night. Chance to add more scoring touch and strength in the paint (Pot: Starter)

    Valancuinas -Another doubles machine with better defence. Could be a force with added weight and strength. Only 19 and look what he can do.(Pot: Starter)

    Areas to improve: PG, SF,
    Why?

    Jose will not be here in 1 – 2 years. We will need to have a pass first, dependable defensive player who can create plays. Bayless is not the traditional pass first pg this team needs going forward. Aquired through FA or draft, this player needs to start RIGHT AWAY and be considered an allstar or having the potential to be one.

    SF? Well JJ may blossom into an all defensive player, he just bring alot on the other end of the floor. Gary Forbes has a chance to show what he can do But this position almost has to be an allstar aswell as the Front court is on lock with ED and JV..

    2012/13 looks like this… (Starting 5)

    PG- Franchise/Allstar pg…(or has a the potential if they’re drafted/young) or FASG – Demar DerozanSF – Same as pg…..PG – ED Davis
    C Jonas ValancuinasKey Signings… C-Hasheem Thabeet (Back up JV)
    All star Free Agent PGAll Star Free Agent SF

  • draftedraptor

    bayless may not have been given a chance so far but to say calderon doesnt bring anything to the team nor have any future is quite wrong. While he is not like the new line of PGs who put up big numbers and are bigger sized he is a solid PG and old school. If he was shooting 3s he would be better than our current players .ie. Bargnani and he would be putting up big numbers but he likes to bring others into play.  I would keep him here. there are lot of games squeezed into this calender year and bayless will get his chance as a starter. if there is a good offer for Calderon however we should trade him. I do not see bayless as a starting PG but he should do for a team competing for the last spot.  

  • Da_saint00

    I would trade Calderon if you get any 1rst round draft pick for him. Same With Andrea… Could you imagine our first round pick, 2 more 1rst rounders for JC and AB and then Valanciunas coming over with a big name free agent or two…. ???
    The great thing about this is that this is a very realistic scenario. This would improve the team leaps and bounds…

  • Jazzy

    Hello everyone.. From what I’ve watched this season I think Calderon holds up the team. He passes be shoots he drives I think he is one of the better point guard in the league and the young players need him to help themselves improve. I personally adore Calderon but I like bay less too! I think Bayless is good but it’s not his time… I hope they don’t trade him cause I live in toronto and so of course I’m a raptor fan but I do want him to be on a winning team. Aghhh time will tell….